However, he wants to convince workers aged 65 and over to stay in the world of work.
Source: Journal de Montréal | Olivier Bourque
Faced with the labor shortage, the CAQ government has some levers in its possession, but postponing retirement to 67 is not in play, confirmed Labor Minister Jean Boulet.
“We continue to analyze our options, particularly of a tax nature, but for the moment, raising the retirement age is not an option”, he mentioned to the Journal, on the sidelines of the Conference of Montreal.
However, this does not prevent the Minister from courting experienced workers in order to retain them at work, “one of the labor pools on which we must continue to work. We have already done a lot to encourage experienced workers to stay or return to the labor market,” he explains.
To promote the employment of these workers, Quebec has a tax credit for career extension, a payroll tax reduction program and other measures that allow employers to reorganize work.
“It is important to remember that we have increased by 14.3% the number of workers aged 65 and over who have returned to the job market,” he specifies.
But there is still much to be done to convince these workers to continue working. Last month, the drop in employment observed in the country was almost entirely attributable to the decrease in the number of workers aged 55 and over.
A bundle of solutions
“That’s why you have to add solutions to meet workforce challenges,” he believes. There are also young people [...], the disabled, the criminalized, the social assistance beneficiaries”.
He continues to believe that Quebec is in a precarious position with several retirements and a greater phenomenon of aging of the population. The minister sees a historic low in 2030 when there will be 1.4 million vacancies.
To face this challenge, Mr. Boulet will continue to take up his pilgrim's staff in order to convince companies to modernize.
“We also mobilized all the partners in the job market, we reached consensus on training, requalification, the integration of clients who are far from the job market. We have improved access to temporary foreign workers,” he says.
As for the CAQ government's threshold of 50,000 newcomers, which has been widely criticized by the business community, Mr. Boulet does not believe that the increase would have much impact.
“We respect our ability to integrate. Among immigrants who are here for 0 to 5 years, their unemployment rate is 13.2%,” he argues.
Higher wages are, however, part of the options available to companies “to recruit better, retain better”, but social benefits are just as important, as is work-family balance, he believes.